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Sen. Kamala Harris Co-Sponsors Bernie Sanders’ Single-Payer Health Care Bill

Will this heal the rift in the Democratic Party?

Photos by Scott Pelkey ScottP-Photography/Flickr and Mobilus In Mobili/Flickr.

Over the past few months, there’s been dissension in Democratic ranks. Freshman Sen. Kamala Harris of California has impressed many in the Democratic establishment, fueling rumors of a 2020 presidential run. But that doesn’t sit well with the Bernie Sanders wing of the party. Progressive Democrats have questioned Harris’ ideological purity — specifically, her ties to Wall Street.

On Wednesday, Harris took a big step to win over Sanders supporters by co-sponsoring the Vermont senator’s single-payer health care bill.


“This is about understanding, again, that health care should be a right, not a privilege. And it’s also about being smart,” Harris told a town hall in Oakland, California. “It is so much better that people have meaningful access to affordable health care at every stage of life, from birth on. Because the alternative is that we as taxpayers otherwise are paying huge amounts of money for them to get their health care in an emergency room. So it’s not only about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense from a fiscal standpoint.”

Sanders plans to introduce a bill that would provide Medicare coverage for all Americans. “As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card,” Sanders’ website says. “Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges.”

But, given Republican control of Congress and the White House, its chances of passing anytime soon are slim.

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